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Courthouse reopening


SALYERSVILLE – Slowly and carefully, the county is opening back up amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

On Thursday, May 28, Magoffin County Judge/Executive Matt Wireman issued an executive order to reopen the courthouse next week and a joint order with Salyersville Mayor James “Pete” Shepherd issued rescinding a past order placing restrictions on essential businesses. 

While the Magoffin County Courthouse has been closed since the declaration of emergency was issued on March 13, Judge Wireman declared in the first order that the building will reopen to the public on a limited basis. 

While this means some in-person services can be done, it is still best to call the office prior to coming in the building. Social distancing will still be enforced.

Magoffin County Clerk Renee Shepherd posted on the office’s Facebook page that her office will continue the process they are using now, involving the drop box and doing as much business over the phone as possible, ensure everyone’s safety. 

“With confirmed cases in the county we feel this is the best way to stay safe and serve you the public,” Shepherd posted. “We are planning on trying to reopen on a limited basis July 1 with appointment for transfers and delinquent tax payment plan. As always, we are here to serve you and will do what it takes to keep everyone safe. You may call the office to schedule absentee voting at 349-2327. Please message me or call me with any questions.”

The Magoffin County Sheriff Department also posted online that they will announce changes next week as the courthouse opens, but they are still doing vehicle inspections through video and CCDW renewals online only. Tax payments are currently still being taken over the phone, but they noted in the post they hope payments pick up when people can come into the office and pay.

For those with questions for the sheriff department, they can call 606-349-2914. 

Judge Wireman and Mayor Shepherd also issued a joint-order, rescinding their order that placed restrictions on local businesses that remained open at the height of the shutdown, but reiterated that the city and county remain in a state of emergency and that the governor’s guidelines, requirements and restrictions on businesses and activities concerning social distancing are to be strictly complied with and enforced by the appropriate enforcement agencies. People are still encouraged to wear masks in public places, stay at least 6 feet away from other people, continue good hygiene and hand washing practices and stay healthy at home and work whenever possible.

Shepherd, who is also the county’s public health director, stated, “People seem to be doing whatever they want, and I hope nothing bad happens, but the coronavirus is still here, and this is still a public health concern. I’m very disappointed that no one will heed the warnings. I’m just hoping everything will be alright.”

He noted that employees at local businesses are still required to wear masks and adhere to social distancing, per Governor Andy Beshear’s orders.

At press time, there have been 600 tested for COVID-19 in Magoffin County, with 584 negative, 4 pending and still only two positives. The first local patient was hospitalized but is now home and out of isolation. The second case is recovering at home and still in isolation, but both are doing well, Shepherd said.

Statewide, there have been 253,585 tests conducted for the virus, with 10,185 positive, 442 deaths and 3,275 recovered.

Currently, Robertson County remains the only county in Kentucky without a reported case of COVID-19.



Heather Oney

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